Romania’s around 245 km long Black Sea coastline is part of the south-eastern region of the country, Dobrogea. It can be placed between the Danube River and the Bulgarian border, and between the coast and the Balta, ie the wide lowland area of the Lower Danube, and consists, next to the coastal area and the vast Danube Delta, mainly of a plateau, which is crossed in the eastern part by saltwater lakes and in the north by up to 500 m high ancient mountains.
In the truest sense, the almost 4500 km wide Danube Delta is the largest wetland in Europe. Reed islands and lakes alternate with lagoons, canals and swamps. The inhabitants of the delta, mostly descendants of Lipovans, who fled for religious reasons from Russia two centuries ago, make a living from fishing and reed harvesting or guiding the visitors through the confusing maze of the delta.
The Delta is a paradise for ornithologists. Migratory birds make a stop on their way across the Bosporus to Egypt. In the Delta live 325 partly rare species of birds, such as egrets, spoonbills, curlews, ospreys, and dozens of goose and duck species, as well as more than 100 species of fish. The Danube Delta enjoys triple international protection for a good reason: it is a biosphere reserve, Ramsar zone (wetland of international importance) and it is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. And thanks to the houseboats, canoes and small solar-powered boats, the Delta opens up today as environmentally friendly as one could wish.